Rick Nash hopes to return next week

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The New York Rangers are getting ready to play in their 16th straight game without star forward Rick Nash (concussion) tonight, but the light at the end of the tunnel is finally visible.

Nash has skated eight days in a row and took part in the Rangers’ practice this morning. He has already been given the green light to engage in contact drills, so at this point the main thing holding him back is his conditioning.

If everything goes well, Nash is hoping to be back in game shape for either Tuesday’s contest against Boston or Thursday’s match versus Dallas.

The 29-year-old originally sustained the injury when he was hit by San Jose’s Brad Stuart on Oct. 8. The Sharks defenseman served a three-game suspension for his actions, but Nash dismissed it as a “hockey play.”

“Everything happened so fast, I’ve had some dangerous plays against other players that it’s just a spur of the moment, it happens,” Nash told the Bergen Record.

Although they have heated up lately, the Rangers still rank in the bottom third of the NHL with 2.28 goals per game. That’s something Nash can certainly help them with.